Travel in southern Iraq

Travel in southern Iraq

Géraldine Chatelard, a friend from Jordan, sent me a write-up of her recent visit to southern Iraq. She has kindly allowed me to reproduce parts of it here, with her own photos. Names have been removed or altered and I have skipped over some parts that could identify people who might not wish to be identified. Géraldine…

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Beacon: a new approach to journalism

Beacon: a new approach to journalism

Friends and followers: I’m trying something new. This is a pitch for money. I first heard about Beacon when Iona Craig, a freelance journalist for the Times in Yemen, tweeted that she had joined it. Then I saw that Gaar Adams, a UAE-based freelancer, was on it too. Gaar put me in touch with Dan…

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EasyJet drops Amman, favours Tel Aviv

EasyJet drops Amman, favours Tel Aviv

EasyJet is pulling out of the Jordanian capital Amman. The route, which launched in March 2011 with flights from London Gatwick, will be withdrawn in May 2014, with the last flight departing Amman on Sunday 4th May. It was the only route easyJet maintained to Jordan. On the other hand, easyJet is continuing its policy…

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The beauty of ice

The beauty of ice

I was blind. Alone. Before I started I knew it might be bad. People were saying the buses weren’t running. When the bus drivers can’t make it, it’s bad. Petra is high. But every road out of Petra is up. To the north and to the east, you have to climb to the crest of…

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The Round Trip

The Round Trip

I’m not sure when I first read Yuval Ben-Ami‘s travel writing. It was almost certainly on a recommendation from my friend Lisa Goldman, who I met one motor-mouthed evening at a pavement café in a mildly hipster part of Tel Aviv during the pre-hipster autumn of 2009. I was there to research this story for the…

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Chaos theory

Chaos theory

Aerial shot of a particularly messy car park, right? Almost. That is, in fact, the main Nile Corniche road running north-south through central Cairo, as seen from my hotel balcony earlier this year. I watched for ages. Try and figure out what each driver is trying to do. Such spirit. Such a delicate dance between…

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CNN, Anthony Bourdain and me

CNN, Anthony Bourdain and me

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain launched the new series of his ‘Parts Unknown’ travel cookery show on CNN this week with an episode titled ‘Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza’. You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4uvwiYbRgw&feature=youtu.be It’s had pretty positive reviews. The Washington Post thought it was “so good“. The Open Zion blog called it “groundbreaking reporting“. Amer…

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CNN’s Israel-Palestine travel intro

See backstory here. . 10 Things To Know Before Visiting Israel and Palestine (original) By Matthew Teller – my original below, CNN’s version here . The Holy Land makes for inspiring, depressing, fascinating, confusing travel. To some, the chunk of territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is all Israel. To others, it’s all…

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“God Is Shy” – a story from Syria

“God Is Shy” – a story from Syria

Last night (29 July) the news came through from Syria that Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, a highly respected Jesuit priest who has lived in Syria for thirty years, had been kidnapped. Rumours began to swirl on social media, first about his kidnapping, then about his supposed late-night release. At this writing (30 July) it’s not clear…

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Is Picfair fair?

Everyone takes photos. I’m not a professional photographer – I wouldn’t call myself a photographer of any kind – but everywhere I travel I take pictures and, sometimes, editors buy them and publish them. Most of the time, though, they don’t. That’s often for editorial reasons – my travel snaps of farflung corners of the…

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